FACE-to-face interaction with the council is set to decrease as councillors consider how residents access West Dunbartonshire Council services from April 2018.

The corporate services committee will hear how more resources will be pumped into its contact centre, which currently receives more than 200,000 calls a year and one million online visits.

There will be fewer face-to-face services, which cost “£8.21 per interaction”, in favour of telephone and online, which cost £2.59 and 9p respectively.

Council bosses also want to transfer cash and card payments in One Stop Shops to payment services such as the Post Office and PayPoint. Cheques will stop being a direct payment option from April 1 and web chat will be introduced as a new contact point.

Customer services in Alexandria will also move to Alexandria Library, 300 metres away, and the Mitchell Way building will instead be used for homeless services.

A report to the committee states: “Customer services is confident that local residents are already prepared for these changes. For example Post Office and PayPoint payment services are already regularly used by residents across West Dunbartonshire to make cash payments for everything from gas and electricity, to media services and pay-as-you-go phones.

“In terms of council services, it is important to highlight that existing support such as crisis grants and community care grants are already only accessed via telephone, online and referral.

“This illustrates that a key citizen group is already requesting council services using telephone and online channels.”

One Stop Shops only collect 3 per cent of council income each year, while 93 per cent of housing rent and 95 per cent of council tax is collected away from those service centres.

Phone lines will be staffed for fewer hours but ensure more staff are on during the lunch period when most residents call – and 24 per cent give up before the council answers. The Scottish Welfare Fund team, which is currently the only council in Scotland to run at weekends and public holidays, will scale back.

The report to councillors states only one per cent of calls are received at weekends. But during the week, 25 per cent of callers hang up before they get heard.